We were all sad to leave Burford, but at the same time we were excited to get back on the road, especially since that road was taking us to Paris. The City of Light has captivated us since our first visit there in 2002 and we were excited to show the kids the most beautiful city in the world. However, at the same time, we were a little worried about what our stay was going to be like. The last time we were in Paris we stayed in a Starwood hotel just off the Champs Elyse. While we still loved the city, we thought the area was stuffy and WAY expensive.
This time we picked an apartment in the 5th right on Rue Moufftard, which is a quintessential cobblestone market street. We arrived at the apartment around 7:00 and the landlady let us in and showed us around, even though she did not speak a word of English, we got the gist of things quickly. Hell, there was not much to get the gist of, the apartment was TINY. The French sure do know how to maximize space. Regardless, the apartment was cute, clean and in the best location imaginable. We opened the windows, looked out over the market and let the sounds of the buskers waft into our tiny piece of Paris.
We had a little incident the following morning which both of the kids have documented here and here. Once I got over feeling like a jackass, we had an amazing week. We rode bikes using the public rental system Velib, to get everywhere we wanted to go in the city. We went high gear tourist and hit many of the major attractions including:
· The Eifel Tower at Night
· Three hour walking tour of the city
· Climbing to the top of Notre Dame
· Evening river cruise on the Siene – replete with VERY cold temperatures and a Mexican tour guide who was in his first week on the job
· Musee d’Orangiree
· Day trip to Versailles
· The Louvre
· Musee de Orseey
· Climbing to the top of the Arc’ de Triumph (Peter and Stacie)
· Top of the Eifel Tower
· Day trip to Giverney (Monet’s Garden)
· Evening hike up Montmartre
· LOTS of BREAD, Wine, Crepe’s and pastries – the food here is off the charts!
By the time we left Paris three of us were sick. We had gone so hard and were completely worn out. Only the vitamin taking, Purell using, water drinking, Stacie managed to stay healthy. Her reward for her fastidiousness – she gets to take care of all of us J.
Everyone agreed Paris was the best big city of the trip, beating out Chicago, Washington D.C, Edinburgh and London. In fact I think we all agree it is the best city we have ever been to. We are heading south to recuperate in Provence for a couple of weeks.